Vac-forming the canopy
Tuesday, 14th April, 2020
As outlined in my last diary entry, work to produce my Spitfire’s bubble canopy began with the carving of an accurate wooden pattern and the subsequent production of a heat-stable cast resin tool.
For the crucial final stage I turned to Sarik-Vacform, a small company well known to me, for it was Sarik (then based in Bristol) where I commissioned in 2012 the beautiful bubble canopy for my P-51D Mustang.
Since that time the firm has come under new management, and so it was that I set out in late August 2019, not to Bristol but on the equally lengthy drive to the spar town of Malvern in Worcestershire, and to a small rural industrial estate within sight of the beautiful Malvern Hills.
Overall, it took no more than 30 minutes, to produced around a dozen ‘pulls’ in two thicknesses (0.75 and 1.0 mm) of polyethylene terephthalate PETG, nine of which I came away with.
Once again my sincere thanks to Sarik, and to Barry Atkinson in particular who pulled out all the stops to achieve a result for me that is as close to optical perfection as the vac-form process will allow.